The “Summarize” feature in the Services menu of OS 10.4 is one of the coolest (and most obscure) features of Tiger that I’ve discovered in a long time. It’s a tool that generates a surprisingly accurate summery of selected text. This is a very useful way to condense and read long web articles and other documents.

To use this feature, first find a chunk of digital text you’d like to summarize. Now cut and paste this text into TextEdit document. Highlight this text, click on the word “TextEdit” at the top of the screen and select Services > Summarize.

A new window will open with a summery of the selected text. There is a bar that allows you to tweak how much the text is “summarized.”

Give it a try! Note that some applications (particularly Safari and Mail) allow you to summarize text without having to cut and paste into a new TextEdit document, but putting the text into TextEdit seems to work best.

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